We'd decided in advance that we'd have Chinese food in Soho, so after the obligatory afternoon siesta at our hotel we headed for Chinatown. We'd been thinking of going to Bar Shu but that turned out to be further down in Covent Garden, so instead we fairly quickly spotted Jade Garden. What drew our/ my partner's attention was that when we looked through the window (no disturbing curtains) he noticed there were many Chinese/ Oriental people in this restaurant so that was a good reason for going in. This is always the key to finding a good restaurant abroad regardless of where you are, if there are a good number of what looks to be "locals" there, it must be positive. We were there fairly late for dinner, between nine and ten o'clock and it was about three quarters full. After being seated the menus quickly arrived and the choice was plentiful, to say the least. For starters we had crispy fried dumplings with prawns (dim sum?) and vegetarian spring rolls with a spicy sauce, these arrived very quickly and were delicious. Very hot and obviously freshly made, really good! We ordered Chinese beer to the food and this suited perfectly. The waiters were very attentive and quickly cleared the plates away when the starters had been enjoyed. For main courses we had Prawns Szechuan style and Scallops with vegetables and rice with egg noodles, the prawn dish turned out to be spicy and hot, the scallops really lovely with green vegetables I couldn't identify, in a mild but tangy sauce. We always share our food and we really enjoyed this meal, my partner was very pleased and commented several times that he wanted to come back here next time we were in London. After returning home I've read the reviews where several people were dissatisfied with both the food and service at the Jade Garden, complaining especially that the waiters were too quick to take away plates etc. We also experienced this but found it to be wholly positive. Our waiters were efficient and brisk, speedy yes, so speedy that my partner commented that if waiters in Norway had worked as quickly as this, the unions would be there to complain that they were working under duress and unfair pressure! :-) Our waiters were always polite, pleasant and made helpful suggestions with regard to choosing from the menu. While we were there people were still coming in, also more Chinese people, as well as European tourists, everyone seemed to be enjoying their food. The menus were well worn yes, we didn't notice that anything looked run down or dirty, I didn't visit the toilets but my partner did and he made no comment when he returned - he would have is something had been wrong/dirty/out of order etc. On the whole we will absolutely return to the Jade Garden again in the future, the food was really good, basic and down-to-earth. For everything we had and the beer we paid just over £ 50,- well worth the money for first class food and a good experience!
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